Social media marketing mistakes are many and most are unforgiving. For those of you who are just starting out in social media marketing, you certainly want to avoid the major ones. For those of you who are active and successful in Social Media Marketing, you are probably thinking, ” ONLY 8 !”.
Yes, while there are dozens of ways to misstep through the landscape of social media, we’re going to focus on those blunders that can kill your campaigns before they even have any chance to germinate.
With the explosion of Social Media in the past few years, more and more businesses and brands are integrating social media marketing as part of their overall online marketing strategy. Some are doing it well, while others … well, let’s just say that there are those who are actively embracing social media who would be better off stepping away very, very slowly, and ultimately handing it over to an expert !
Here they are, in no particular order.
1. “Look at Me … I am a blank”
There is nothing worse than an account on any social media platform that is predominantly empty. It is not unusual to see Facebook pages, or LinkedIn profiles that may have a name, and perhaps a few details but nothing else.
Any social media profile needs to ensure that your audience recognises you and identify you easily. Secondly, a YouTube channel or Google+ profile should be enhancing your image and reputation, not questioning it.
It is imperative that you spend an appropriate amount of time populating your account, as well as optimising and customising it. At the very least, include Images, descriptions, links, contact details, and especially your USP ( Unique Selling Proposition ).
2. Set and Forget
Probably the most common of social media marketing mistakes, is creating a brand new account on say Facebook that is ready to rock and roll, then failing to keep it active and relevant.
Sometime this is the case for those who simply get sidetracked .. “Look there’s a butterfly !” More often it is due to the mistaken belief that feeding your profile regularly is really only for the hardcore users.
Relevant and regular activity on at least your major social media account is a super way of connecting with, and growing your community.
3. “One is the loneliest number”
With the plethora of platforms out there, settling on only one social media platform for your business is under-valuing your brand. Certainly starting with one platform, and first becoming super confident with it makes a lot of sense.
But there is always an additional way of presenting yourself online that helps tell your story, and a second or even third social media platform can help you achieve this.
For example, LinkedIn will help engage those who are more comfortable interacting as a fellow networking professional. While Pinterest might be the perfect social media partner that helps you market your visually based business in a way that LinkedIn does not allow.
If you knew for a fact that all your customers and prospects used Facebook only, then there’s no issue. Understanding that different types of people absorb information differently, and have their favorite social media platforms means it is important to spread your wings.
Once you have mastered your first profile, say Facebook, dip your toes into one or more other platforms, for example, Twitter and Google+. Stick with the ones that you enjoy using. There’s nothing worse than committing to a social media platform that you find difficult to manage, or is just plain boring .
Alternatively, you can always outsource. Find a suitable social media marketing partner, and go, go go !
4. Competitors? What competitors ?
You do realise that in all likelihood, someone else is in the exact same business as you ?
This is usually disconcerting to hear, and the reality is that most people ignore the fact that there are other people out there. Usually because it is the path of least resistance, and easier to pretend that even if there are successful competitors out there, it would be too hard to overtake them.
Spend a little time initially checking out the competition. Then spend a little time re-visiting them on a regular basis. This can be rejuvenating. It is so easy to see who is struggling with their social media, especially when you come across competitors who are crushing it. And even when you see those competitors who are miles ahead of the curve, you can take comfort in the fact that you can ‘see’ where you can improve.
Before committing to any substantial foray into social media, we would recommend that you conduct a competitor analysis. It’s quite straightforward to do, and can aid immensely in creating a roadmap for social media success. There are social media marketing consultancies such as Webmentum who can help you with your audits and conducting competitor analysis. It is a huge learning experience for any business, regardless of size and online maturity.
5. WIIFM – What’s In It For Me ?
It’s all about me. Buy this from me now. Like my Page, Share my Post. And while you’re at it, buy this other thing from me as well. Tick, tock, tick, tock …. I’m back, buy this now …. !
Sound familiar ? How annoying is it when all you see from businesses are offers, more offers, and don’t forget … “Specials” .
While this annoying behaviour is easily recognisable when you are a consumer, its recognition seems to go missing when we act as an online business. Social media is all about connecting with customers and prospects. It is also about building trust, creating communities and providing value.
Take the time to understand who your audience is , and provide a real reason for your visitor to bookmark you or to stay connected. Social media gives us the opportunity to build relationships and create conversations in a way that was difficult in the past. Relevant and timely information, or even links to such context will capture your visitor’s attention. It will ensure that he/she feels grateful for the value you provided, and also creates a ‘stickiness’ that most marketers believe is essential in building a successful community.
6. Robot Dance
Nothing kills a social media marketing campaign faster than a whole bunch of posts that look like they have come from an automated software poster. They are usually bland, with no flavour or creativity and seem to have been posted for no apparent reason than to fill up space.
Now there’s nothing wrong with using social media management tools to help automate your daily routine. All we are saying is not to rely on them exclusively. Mix it up a bit and try and introduce and maintain a sense of creativity and personality online. This increases your chances of meaningful engagement, which is what social media is all about.
7. “Hold please …..”
So, you’ve made a great start with your brand new social media presence. Fantastic ! But you’re busy with your core areas of your business, and perhaps other aspects of your online marketing efforts. You may or may not see that visitors or customers are posting queries on our accounts, but you promise to yourself that you will get back to them, as you as you have time. This is a big whoopsy.
Now you need to be especially mindful of taps on your online shoulder. When people make contact, not only is it courteous to respond in a timely manner, but essential to your online credibility. Everyone can see how long it takes for you to respond, everyone. If you are not regularly active online, that’s OK. But you will need to schedule a regular time when you can look at all online queries perhaps in batch mode. This way an expectation is set with your audience. Alternatively you can outsource this essential task to another business member or even a 3rd party social media marketing specialist. Do not just depend on your niece’s hairdresser’s 3rd cousin, who happens to have a lot of time on his hands.
8. Branding 101
It really is too common to see a Facebook Page or YouTube Channel that don’t contain even the most basic information you would expect to find, for example : Contact Details, Opening Hours, Location, website links or even CTAs ( Calls To Action ) and so on.
Every social media platform has the ability to be both optimised and customised in a highly effective way. Take the time , and take advantage of every component that a social media platform gives you to brand yourself. Search for hints on the ‘net, check out other successful accounts and brands, or hire an expert.
Anyone can create a social media marketing platform online. You want to make sure you stand out above your competition.
Successful social media marketing can increase your following and grow your business.
It is important to understand that advantageous branding online combined with thoughtful, creative and meaningful engagement will certainly benefit your business. Especially if you avoid committing these 8 deadly social media marketing mistakes.
Good luck !